Badhaai Ho(2018)

Badhaai Ho – Congratulations!

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The title of the movie is supposed to bring a very pleasant feeling but that’s not what goes on in the movie. Nakul(Ayushmann Khurrana) our lead lives in a joint family with his parents, younger brother and his loud mouth grandmother. It’s still a very happy family although he is very embarrassed to introduce his upscale girlfriend Renee(Sanya Malhotra) to them.
The movie is picturised in a middle class family living on row houses, every time we watch such movies it’s reminiscent of the fact the we are loosing this culturally knit locality to fast growing metros.
So Nakul is enjoying his life, hanging out with his new found love everyday, his brother going to school who gets a pocket money from his brother; it’s a greatest feeling. Grandma is happy controlling the family where both son and bhau(Neena Gupta) are obedient all the time. It’s a very happy family.
Then the pain starts, mother kinda falls sick. See this is a story based of a middle class family, there has to be some pain. So the whole family is attending to her now. Anyways before I go into describing her sickness, I really want to quote this classic dialogue which summarizes the whole movie. Nakul and his brother are sulking on the terrace with their mother’s “illness“, he goes,
You really had to cry and beg to have your own room, hah!“, smacks on his back of the head. Corollary to that line  ‘Can’t you just continue sleeping with parents!‘. Yes, his brother is in high school and children do sleep with their parents as long as they want,

a. for the lack of space

b. unlike American culture it is not looked down upon for children to hang out with parents. Instead it builds a lasting bond of caring, this story is testimony for that

c. the most important reason is that in India it acts a parent birth control.
Alright to the climax of their mother’s illness, she was feeling giddy and throwing up, the common problem at this age – gastric trouble. With the expert doctors visit, the unthinkable gets confirmed, she is pregnant!

The family falls apart, Nakul storms out the door saying, “What were you thinking“, younger brother never looks into his parents eyes. Grandma scolds them saying, “It is time to see your son get married and have children, and here you are having your own time“. These grandma’s have a heart of gold mine, but spits fire from their mouth. Well the only person who said Congratulations was the doctor.
Then the smirky congratulations keep coming from neighbors and distant relatives.
Nakul who was already feeling low with his status as stacked up against his aristocratic girlfriend, this makes him go even lower. In the heated argument, breakup happens. He is ashamed to meet his friends, skips going to cousins wedding. His brother comes home with a bruised face; he had gotten into a fight with his classmate who had teased their mother. Then it takes a turn, first Nakul goes to school with his brother and fixes that classmate, comes back home and comforts his mother that he would be there for the smooth delivery supporting the family.
Well it’s a two hour movie going melodramatic and addressing the family values in the society. Finally on the delivery day his girlfriend comes to join his hand in celebrating a beautiful new angel baby girl to life.
In this day and age where socially appropriated heterosexual sex has become a novelty, while the millennials are busy using all kinds of social media, texting and sexting, somebody has to keep the age old tradition alive.

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Selfie by Shweta Bachchan

 

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Russian daredevil Kirill Oreshkin taking a selfie atop a hi rise building

I have conveniently dropped the Nanda at the end to make it more appealing. Yes it is Sr Bachchan’s daughter writing about Selfie. Not surprisingly very eloquent article; she hails from writers family, her father and grand father. Found it very interesting to note that she is totally against the selfies while she is surrounded by huge personalities.

Selfie was immortalized by Ellen DeGeneres of course promoting the phone she held at Oscars. The picture itself was beautiful with all the Hollywood stars posing  triumphantly for the shot, then it went viral on Twitter.

I am not so much against the selfies, but I tend to agree with Shweta on the self indulgence of we humans. Although selfie can be used as medium to capture everybody in the group, but like she says, why do it, if there several other tourists around you who would be glad to help you out. Builds human interaction and social acquaintance.

She also vents about the children taking selfies with duck face. Sure she being a mother herself would be annoyed by that, but it is still cute as long they are limited to children. Unfortunately lots of adults have never grown out of their childhood and progress into belfies.

Selfies has taken a sinister turn, which she is not addressing, the deaths related to Selfies is overwhelming. The picture posted above is that of a Russian daredevil Kirill Oreshkin has earned a name as Russian Spiderman for his selfies atop a hi-rise buildings. Call it daredevil or dumb move, one mis-step could cause his death. Other daredevils have not been so lucky who have succumbed to death, pricenomics lists such deaths in this article.

Mumbai police has posted a sign for Selfie daredevils,

Don’t make ‘taking a selfie‘ mean ‘taking your own life‘.

scores of people are dead taking a selfie near Marine Drive or Bandra seaface. Statistics have shown that India had almost 60 percent of deaths of all selfies.

Finally Shweta ends her blog with a satirical note, where she contacted her doctor for sunburns over the phone, to which her doctor responded, “Send a Selfie”, you can read her entire article here.

 

Anthony Bourdain: Pain Unknown

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All his life he showed us the finest dining places across the world and some remotest of places and proved that it is not necessary to be wealthy to enjoy life and have fun. He did visit the Malaysian remote island (could be wrong), for the second time; this time being more popular TV host and explaining them that he had then loved their culture, where people cooked and drank all night till they dropped dead; metaphorically, a simple living and sharing the food amongst the entire village. More so than food, he showed the beauty of connecting with people across the world at a personal level.

With his exhaustive traveling and carefree living, he once said “With so many tattoos, one more I can take”, he took every challenge that was thrown at him, though scared at times, he was real on camera as he was in his real life.

He made his life an envy of all, dining in the most exotic places, maneuvering yachts, blending with various culture around the world and families alike or was it an illusion, we will never know.

Tony’s death came days after another celebrity ended her life tragically; Kate Spade, what drove these greats to this extreme, world would never know. Every budding chef, journalists many other common person in different professions idealized his life, wanted to be Tony, except himself.

Lastly I would leave with a thought that his high point in life (sorry for speaking on his behalf) would be, he introducing the President Barack Obama a good cheap eat in Hanoi, Vietnam over a bottle of beer!, but Barack being another great he has tweeted his best moment with Tony already.

I would like to quote Neil Degrasse Tyson, “Life is precious, here were are investing in search for life on Mars, wherever we find it, we need to cherish and nurture it”.

The man who lived so much, the idea of he not being there anymore is surreal.

Ode! Anthony Bourdain!

KRSNA

KRSNA is a mythological story told by himself for children in a very simple language.

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Excerpt

What Next…

Well it’s been five thousand years and I am meeting with Lord to land on earth. We feel like we left it for you humans to handle it on your own without we meddling too much, but we are noticing the state this earth has been brought to.

The constant argument here is who will lead the effort to go down there and take care of the business. Every time; all of these thirty three million us, none wants to come down there. Everybody has gotten very comfortable up here, we look down and see the technological progress you guys have made, frankly lots of devas fear of being outdated. I remember few decades back, if I am not mistaken Narad went to Varanasi; the university of Hindu literature. He even met with you people and explained that he was Narad, Lord Brahma himself had sent him down there to address your concerns. He was heckled so bad, that we couldn’t help but laugh at his plight.

Narad went to one beggar who had his legs crippled and twisted from knee down, beard, hair and body starving for nutrition, clothes falling apart rotting on their own and said, “I see you in distress, is there anything you need from Lord?”

The man looks at him like Narad was some kind of an alien and goes, “Who are you?”

“Oh! I am Narad, the messenger of Lord himself”, explicitly displaying his signature Veena and Jasmine flowers tied around his head and arms.

“Well you seem like a nice guy, what’s up that hairdo”, he scooted over a little and continued, “come sit here, this is a popular spot, every temple visitor passses from here, you can collect a lot of money here, you seem like a nice guy, what brought you to this state”, he spread another rotten gunny bag next to him and patted to dust off.

“No! I am not here to beg!”, Narad looked up into the sky, frankly we were laughing out loud, this embarrassed him and continued to the beggar, “I am sent by god to check with your concerns”, frankly he was losing his cool.

“Alright then, give me hundred rupees”, said the beggar, “you make my day today”.

“No I can’t pay money, I don’t have, I can carry your concerns…”

“Alright beat it now, you are obstructing my busy hours here, go check concerns of other people out there and take them to your lord”, he threw an air quotes around Lord.

Narad, stepped away from the man and got moving, beggar yelled back, “Hey watch out godman, a bus will run you over, nobody has time for your Lord concerns out here, take it somewhere else”.

Narad turned to look around and a cyclist knocked his Veena and broke it, he just yelled back “Sorry” and kept riding his bike. Some other person picked up his broken Veena and handed it to him, “Are you looking for the drama theatre?, you look lost, it’s right there, you see that cobbler sitting down there, turnaround you can’t miss it”.

Narad frustrated, “No, I am not…”, before he could complete the man had taken off, was hanging on to a moving bus. The wooden slippers were also knocked off, he decided to meet the cobbler to repair. Limping on one leg with broken Veena he approached the cobbler.

“My good friend, can you fix these sandals for me?”

Cobbler busy sewing a leather sandal adjusted his broken glasses and looked at Narad, “What are these, you don’t wear these on streets”, he continued with his work, irritated.

“No! This is all I have worn all the time, please fix them for me”, pleaded Narad, his feet was burning in the hot sun, his other wooden sandal had stuck in the melting tar and had no clue how to get it off. Cobbler wanting to take a break, dropped his sewing and grabbed the water jug and gulped the water. Wiping his mouth turned to Narad and said, “I can’t fix these sir, leave them here, walk into the theater and when you return maybe I will see if I can fix them”.

“I am not going to a theater!!! I just need these fixed, I need  to go home”, said Narad visibly irritated by people asking him to go to theater, feet were killing and sweat dripping off his temples.

“I can’t fix them, here you can buy these”, cobbler handed him a pair of Hawaii slip ons.

“What are these?”, asked Narad looking at the soft sandal shaped pair.

“Go ahead try it, they are very comfortable”.

Hesitantly Narad slipped on the Hawaii and was amazed, they were soft, did not have to pinch his toes to hold to them like he did with wooden sandals.

“What are these”, asked Narad, a smile had broken on his face, they were so comfortable.

“Just pay two hundred rupees, I feel bad for you”,said the cobbler while he got busy with his sewing.

“I like these, but I don’t have rupees!!!”, said Narad, “Here take this, but I need these sandals”, he jumped with joy handing him a gold chain.

“I don’t want your chain, you seem to be a nice guy, go home now it’s hot, pay me later, don’t cheat me, I know you come to this theater”, cobbler waged his finger sizing up Narad.

Narad turned around the bend to check on this theater, he saw bunch of people dressed as Amitabh Bachchan and Elvis Presley impersonation, of course he could not make anything of it. This was it for him, drifted back into the clouds and reported to Lord Brahma, “Fire me if you want to, I am never going back there”, flashing his new sandals.

“I am not firing you! Go take rest”, Lord could no longer control his laughter. Narad walked away with a swag enjoying his new sandals.

The meeting went on for hours at end and there were no takers who would go down there and do the job they are supposed to do. Lord Shiva had declared, “I have gotten too comfortable with Kailash, it’s hot down there, I am not going”. Of the top three two had already ruled out. I being the third, well if you don’t know I am an incarnation of Lord Vishnu; the third supreme god. I had to speak up, “We can send Ganesha, he is very popular among them, I see every car dashboard adorned with elephant head wobbling there”.

So Ganesha was summoned, he came with a laddu in his mouth, looked and his father respectfully, then sized me up and bowed his head to Lord Brahma.

“Ganesha, we want you to go down to Earth, looks like they need your help, also they believe in you”, Lord Brahma was like a car salesman selling his idea.

“What! Did you see what they did to Narad?, he looks so normal yet he was ridiculed, I have this elephant head, thanks to this man here, if I go down there some billionaire or a politician will claim my ownership and keep me in a cell and start billing the customers for my viewing”, he went and fell to the feet of Brahma and Shiva walked away staring at me, for suggesting this idea.

The meeting continued, actually it was only me and Brahma that were discussing, Shiva was peaceful. Lord Brahma ran his fingers through his gray beard and looked at me pleading.

“Alright, alright, I will go”, I said throwing my flute on the floor. Shiva just smiled in the corner, he stood up to leave, it was settled. I had to work on logistics with Brahma, first thing I said was, I am going to lose this attire, thanks to my mom, who made my look a legend but this peacock feather and dhoti had to go.

Brahma got curious and asked, “What do you plan to wear?, I know you like those gold jewels”.

He is right, I have this affinity towards this bling, I just love it, “I don’t know yet, I just don’t want to be fooled like Narad.” I really can’t believe you guys treated him like that, what a change millennials can bring. After he saying he wants to help a beggar, he was ridiculed, what will a common man do us when we get down there, I wonder.

Anyway Lord Brahma has left it to me to wear or do whatever I want to, all he wants is somebody to get down there and bring some order. So good or bad news, I am coming, I do need some input from you guys, especially the millennials, it’s your time to shine. I am planning on getting hooked with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, really what do I do with instagram, I am the most progressive out here but, I am clueless about instagram, I know people post pictures there, but what good would do that to me. I am also done with these chariots, planning to get a fast ride; Lamborghini or Tesla, I am torn. Tesla will be good in a sense, I don’t have to drive and relax at the back.

I am thinking we will see how it goes…

Kirik Party (2016)

The prologue (jump to review)

This has been the most elusive movie for me, ever since I have heard about it, it had already been taken off the screens here in New Jersey, needless to say I had least interest in watching Kannada movies when Bollywood churns out everyday a new movie and friends around me dropping their jaws for not watching this one or that, recently I have also been watching Marathi movies like Sairaat (2016) and Court (2014), which had made waves of their own. Got calls from India; Kirik Party is a good movie, you should check it out. My quest for the same in local stores for a pirated copy went in vain. Many a times I googled for an online copy, never watched Kirik Party but ended up watching some other Hindi movies. There are times I was jubilant to see on YouTube Kirik Party run time 2 hr 40 some minutes, the movie starts fine and then after the ghastly cigarette ad, it turns out to be a third rated movie. Dejected I gave up on watching the movie or so I say with blood shot eyes.

After an year of air date, I landed in India for vacation, vacation was fine, family was even better. It’s my wife’s sister-in-law that disturbed my peace.

“Shrikant anna, did you watch Kirik Party, it’s Superrr”, she said.

“No!”.

“I will get it for you, you need to watch it”, she darted out the door.

I lay on the couch, day after day in front of TV, she being busy with her house chores ran to neighbors house to get me a copy of DVD, she did manage to find few, one was a very bad Camera recording and rest just did not work. I just thanked her for trying so hard and she was depressed that I couldn’t get to watch that one good Kannada movie after long time.

After landing back in US, once in a while I googled for Kirik Party, nice song videos but never a complete screening. I had begun to like the movie. Sadly I am not here to preach about marketing but Kannada industry has lacked a lot in this, every Hindi, Tamil or Telugu ends up on Einthusan after a week but Kannada; how do you expect Kannada movies to become popular. Recently bought another Chinese video box that streams pirated videos of entire worlds collection but English; we have Kodi for that. Started watching live cricket matches and latest and greatest Sony TV comedy shows. For the first time in US my wife bragged she had watched Jagga Jasoos (2017), where her friends dropped their mouths in awe.

“Where did you get that, I want to watch it too, is it on Einthusan?”

“No! It’s not on einthu, it’s on this box”, she beamed.

Out of curiosity and zero hope browsed Kannada section for Kirik Party; you thought I had given up on this movie. Lo behold I found it; a working HD copy!

The review

To my pleasant surprise the movie opened up to a beautiful upbeat song, bunch of boys,  being boys in a college and having fun, is the most winning formula in any of the Indian movies. Hollywood has long given up on this theme since Grease series. For me it brought the pleasant memories of my college days watching another best Kannada movie of that time, Premloka. The comedies were not slapstick but some creative humorous dialogues. It was a long wait but it paid off for all the pain I had taken. It was almost a musical like Premloka; unlike stupid musical; Jagga Jasoos, got involved in the romantic comedy, had begun appreciating the directing skills of Rishab Shetty and decent acting by Rakshit Shetty until they killed that Senior girl, Rashmika Mandanna;no I mean really she looked senior. For a moment I thought it was his dream, asked my wife, if she really died. I don’t know if I dozed off; I do a lot with chick flicks, my wife is very annoyed with me for that. There are times I watch movies in installment because I sleep half way, sadly she watches every time the whole movie. Next thing I see is that there is an election in the college and best of friends have broken up canvassing against each other. I am like did I wake to Shiva (1989)? Just to confirm, I ask my wife, that Chasmish girl is gone, I had begun to like her. She said “Yes” sternly. Then I see this high school girl Samyukha Hegde flirting with protagonist, I am like come on, don’t kill him now gods sake. The girl is very good on the screen but again a misfit in the story; Rishab, where are you going with this man. Then he steals some scenes from 3 Idiots (2009) and makes Rakshit drive on the Royal Enfield and go missing, why? Now the movie has become so painful you start to enjoy the torture, I am saying let me see how he will tie all the ends of this movie and pull the curtain down, he does after three agonizing hours. The End.

You can’t help notice that the graduation party has the banner 2013, the movie has been delayed to release

Every good movie must be an inspiration but never implemented in yours

Hidden Figures (2016)

Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory) makes a first movie and gets beaten up in NASA mission by our protagonist, thats a first. I could see him twitching with pain when Katherine Johnson, erases the black board (no pun intended it is black board not white board) and rewrites the formulas for John Glen‘s pod re-entry, unfortunately Penny was not there to console him.

The review

Hidden Figures is a wonderful uplifting story of three African American ladies during segregation, making it to the top in NASA space mission.  The bubbly, Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) who wants to be an aeronautical engineer in the white mans world, men watch her struggle through a observatory window when her heel gets stuck on the launch pad. The senior, Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) who is managing a colored computers – literal meaning is a black women employed for computing. The genius of the trio is Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) who is calculating rocket’s trajectory and re-entry crossing odds with Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons famously known as Sheldon Cooper). The movie is fairly star studded, Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) is head of the launch mission who at first is very skeptical of the Katherine’s math abilities, he is a fantastic scientist with great leadership skills, but his human side is revealed when he discovers that Katherine took half hour breaks on a critical mission days just to learn that she had to walk half a mile (rain or shine) to relieve herself in the colored bathrooms. Takes a sledge hammer and shatters the  signs of color of the facility and declares “There are no colors here at NASA, we are all one color”. In the other building Dorothy updates her staff with coding (FORTRAN) so that they don’t become obsolete on the installation of IBM supercomputers in the building, in the interim gains the much anticipated respect from her supervisor Vivian Mitchell (Kirsten Dunst). Mary breaks the barrier to be the first women to go to a College for White only through a court order. The icing on the cake is when management decides to take off Katherine from the mission control since all the calculations can be done by IBM computers, John Glenn personally orders to get Katherine to verify the calculations done by the computer. She oversees safe re-entry of John Glen in the Mission Control room filled with White people (I mean all men dressed in white shirts), with Katherine in a bright colored dress. She later goes on to supervise the Apollo 11 launch, mission to moon.

The movie is a pleasant watch, very well directed by Theodore Melfi, a must watch for all children.

Passengers (2016)

Hmm, where do I begin with this movie, its an arms race to build a colony on Mars and beyond, first we had Gravity(2013) where you saw what it was like getting drifted in Space, then came Interstellar(2014) and Martian(2015) where they landed and grew a plant there. Here in passengers they have taken it to the next level, passengers settling on another planet. Every next movie uses part imagination and part scientific evidence to push the envelope backed by NASA. George Lucas is like you all so 18th century.

The review

The first 30 mins the movie is played by Chris Pratt (Jurassic World 2015) is awakened on a spaceship prematurely since his hibernating pod has malfunctioned, with no one available to talk; sounds scary but we have seen worst on Cast Away(2013). He scans through all the profiles of 1500 passengers and picks to wake up JLaw ( her name in the movie is Aurora, why did you not leave her sleeping, don’t you watch Disney Movies man). Don’t worry, ‘If I was you, I would be waking her up too‘. Now the next 30 mins or more they are busy trying to find out why only they are up and rest are hibernating peacefully for 90 years. Whatever happened to ‘Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Hon, Aur Chavi Ko Jaye‘, maybe I am old schooled they had a whole ship by themselves with all the amenities, food and wine at disposal. Lo and behold after an hour into the movie they find romance between them. It took less time to bring two Pandas together in NYC Zoo. Since Chris discovered sex; by the way JLaw claims this was her first on screen, he thought of waking up Julia Roberts too, but then the director yelled at him, it would cost them another 2o million.

All is well and Chris has planned to propose JLaw at the bar where our only humanized robot Arthur as witness, he takes off to get the ring and Jlaw is chatting with Arthur, disaster strikes, Arthur spills the beans as how Chris contemplated waking her up with guilt and finally went for it and now all looks so good with them together. JLaw is furious and breaks up with Chris for forcefully waking her up.

As fate has it, Chris waking up abruptly was beginning of more problems to arise on the ship and now Chris has to get out into the space and fix it. Love is lost, what more can he loose, he gets out and fixes it but drifts into space. JLaw could have let him go, Brad Pitt was sleeping in one of the pods, looks like she was smitten by Chris and risks her life to bring him back.  You think she will fail in the mission, hello so predictable, then they live happily ever after. No really they do and leave a legacy behind for the hibernators to see a rain-forest created in the space ship after 90 years.

I like JLaw, her movies are best but if I have to watch her I would watch Hunger Games again.